Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I want to write a long post about how much fun Hugh and I had in New Orleans but; one of the souvenirs from the trip appears to be a wicked case of stomach flu so, that will have to wait.
Briefly, I can tell you that I’m not a fan of Creole cuisine, the airlines industry, trollish women as airplane seatmates or the act of throwing up barely digested peanut butter. However, viewing Mardi Gras floats up close and personal, exploring the French Quarter and ghost hunting are all worth the price of admission to Louisiana.
Still, I could have done without the stomach bug that hitched a ride home with us, obviously.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
God, this cold is going to be the death of me. Actually, let's hope it's not the death of me; let's hope I live to be a spastic old lady who collects teaspoons from all fifty states and dresses her cats in doll clothes.
Or, you know, not.
Can you tell that I am flying high on Dayquil? Dayquil is gooood stuff.
So, Mom and Dad arrive today. I am wrapping things up at the hardware store and thinking about what to pack for New Orleans. According to the weatherman, it is supposed to be 78 with a 40% chance of rain the entire time we are there and, I'm not entirely certain which of my spring clothes
Like, maybe when I'm not flying so high on the Dayquil.
Speaking of flying high; the Teenager competed in a school dance contest yesterday and she and her partner took third place, earning them a trip to the movies with their teacher this evening. The Teenager is stoked, of course.
Hugh and I snuck (sneaked? Who the hell knows, hellooo, Dayquil) into the gym to watch the competition yesterday afternoon and it was a-freaking-dorable. The Teenager wore a dress and had curled her hair into a most becoming style. She was picture perfect from the tip of her head (red ribbon to match the red tie her partner was wearing, her idea! OMG!) to the soles of her pink and green-sneakered feet and Hugh and I were suitably verklempt at the sight of her.
The dancing encompassed every style from ballroom waltzing to fifties style whateverthehellitscalled (Dayquil) and the Fox Trot to boot. The Teenager has enjoyed the class and had been practicing at home with her brother which, in hindsight, might have been less beneficial than we thought since she never really practiced following someone else's lead. On the other hand, my daughter is a natural leader and, her partner kept up just fiiiine.
Dancing With the Starz has nothing on them, is what I'm saying.
And, my head hurts so I am outta here.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I’m sick. My throat is swollen and sore, my nose alternates between too stuffed to breathe and running like a faucet, sinus pain is causing my teeth to ache and my left ear is starting to ring. The timing could not be worse, of course; Hugh and I are headed to New Orleans on Thursday to attend our spring buyer’s market for the hardware store.
I’m taking over-the-counter measures to deal with this inconvenience but, I have little doubt that the flight alone will be enough to weaken whatever defenses I might build up between today and Thursday which, plainly sucks.
Hugh and I have been to New Orleans once before, prior to Katrina and her Waves and, sickness or not; I’m looking forward to visiting again; there’s just something about that town that I find intriguing. Maybe it’s the voodoo. Or, the café au’lait.
We’ll have a bit of free time to find out as Hugh and I are staying an extra day to explore the city. On our last trip, we visited the Mardi Gras museum and the aquarium and took a horse-drawn carriage through the French Quarter, this time; I’m thinking about a plantation tour. Whatever we end up doing, I know we’ll have fun; after all, last year’s market was in Orlando and Hugh and I made use of our extra day by visiting Universal Studios where we defied the laws of gravity. New Orleans will be tame by comparison.
While we are away, my parents are going to stay with the children. Both kids have been looking forward to this for some time as they are fully aware that a visit from Pop-Pop and Nana equals complate and utter spoilage.
Have you ever smelled spoiled children? Not the most pleasant scent in the world but, at the rate I am going with this cold, I won’t be able to smell them, anyway.
I try to look for the silver lining in any situation, had you noticed?
Friday, March 20, 2009
I got an unwelcome surprise at Pilates this morning; my instructor has been replaced with an inferior model. Or, actually, the inferior model was the original instructor and I have spent the past eight weeks under the tutelage of her temporary replacement. Had I known that when I started the program, I wouldn't have let myself get so attached to the woman I thought was the permanent instructor. As it is, I feel like the victim of a con-they drew me in with promises of an instructor who makes me want to cry for my momma and then switched her for an instructor who...doesn't make me want to cry for my momma.
I should also mention that the new/old instructor was on sabbatical...having her hip replaced.
That's right; I'm now taking a Pilates class instructed by a woman with a bionic hip and she still can't make me weep. Either I have gotten a hell of a lot stronger than I thought or the instruction is less than intense and I think I've covered that subject, see above: Not weeping.
Still making me want to cry, however, is the baseball program. No, really? Yes, really. Tonight we have player evaluations to determine which kids to move up to the next level in order to even out the younger team. The president of the league has wisely decided to hold an actual meeting of the parents (I know! What a concept; who could have possibly suggested that weeks and weeks ago?) to explain the situation and to address any questions or concerns they may have as well as to try to convince them to play nice.
I don't hold out much hope but, I'm certain the kids will pull them all apart should things get ugly.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I have successfully crested the PMS Hump and am free-falling back to normal, normal being a relative term.
Hugh is headed home from Vegas and should (fingers crossed) be home in time for wrestling practice this evening.
Last night, I found myself with an unexpected hour of free time between dinner and Lost so; I addressed the issue of my skunk stripe and am happy to report that my head now sports a lovely chestnut brown right down to the roots. This morning, the color made me so happy, I granted the hair a temporary reprieve from the scissors, leaving it free to grow another day. Grow on, hair, grow on!
I'm feeling decidedly thinner today thanks in no small part to the decrease in my body's I AM SO FAT, PLEASE, SOMEONE KILL ME hormones. I suffer no illusions about actually being thinner, I merely acknowledge the fact that I feel thinner; look to the rear and the hitchhiking pounds are still there, I promise.
Baseball is still going to be the death of me. The league president has spent enough time at my house at odd hours lately; I have to wonder if the neighbors are starting to think something fishy is going on. On the plus side, team try-outs are tomorrow night and, once the teams are in place, I will no longer be running an open door policy, instead; I will be chained to my computer, electronically rostering two hundred children via the babe Ruth website. I can hardly wait.
This morning, the Man-Cub triumphantly pulled a note from his teacher out of his backpack and presented it to me with the hubris of a man three times his size. Apparently, during C-SAP testing, which the schools are conducting all week; pajamas are considered perfectly acceptable school attire. In fact, by not allowing the Cub to sport his flannels to school, I am unintentionally ostracizing him from his peer group (OK, the letter didn't specify that part, I inferred it which, doesn't make it any less accurate. P.S. I suck at the parenting).
One need not guess what the Cub wore to school today.
I'm ok with this particular failure because, as I said; I have crested the hump and free-falling back into normal makes me a hell of a lot less sensitive to stupid stuff.
Except for those sappy Hallmark commercials, books by Nicholas Sparks and the imminent demise of Battlestar Galactica; still crying like a baby over that shit.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Who came up with that corny saying? Teeth don’t even have skin. Sometimes, the morning after a bottle of merlot, they are a tad bit fuzzy but, that is neither here nor there and, I digress.
So, what’s driving me around the bend these days (another corny saying that makes no sense to me, whatsoever)? Let’s explore:
-Hugh is in Las Vegas at the National Bowling tournament. He is Homer Simpson but without the donuts.
-I am parenting on my own which, ok, is the least of my worries now that the kids are older and less likely to drink bleach from underneath the sink (My younger sister once took a lick off a can of Comet, thinking it was parmesan cheese. True story).
-I had to run wrestling practice on my own last night although; Hugh did have the foresight to arrange for the High School wrestling team to be there to scrimmage (is it called scrimmaging in wrestling? I have no idea) the boys so; I didn’t really have to stress nearly as much as that other time that he abandoned me to the mercy of the parents (also, since the Hostiles have left the program, the remaining parents are wonderful).
-My hair. Good Lord. Not only has it reached the point of no return when it comes to the shagginess but the grays are staging a coupe. I might just break down and make an appointment for a cut but, the dye job will have to wait for the weekend so; let’s pretend that Skunk looks good on me.
-The Teenager has been invited to go camping with Kaz and her family. Camping is no big deal but, they are traveling to Utah to do it and I’m not 100% comfortable with the idea of sending my preshus off on a road trip even though I know, and trust, Kaz’s parents. The apron strings, they are tied tight.
-My ass. Again, good LORD. Hugh has been doing fantastically well on his P90x fitness program and has lost about ten pounds as a result. Every one of those pounds managed to relocate to my butt. I’m serious, I am running a safe house for wayward pounds on my ass which, sounds like a charitable deed but, yeah; not happy.
-While I am doing really well on the No Chocolate, No Diet Pepsi for Lent program, I am eating anything else that isn’t tied down, especially if it is coated in pink frosting and sprinkles. Donuts, I am looking at you.
-Baseball registration ended last Friday. I still have people calling me at all hours and accosting me at the supermarket to beg for admittance into the program.
-Battlestar Galactica ends this Friday night and I have no idea what I am going to do on Friday nights from now on. Hugh has suggested something called dating. I don’t know, sounds fishy to me.
-The Man-Cub pulled a rare poutfest this morning when I refused to allow him to attend school in his pajamas. We had an actual argument over whether or not pajamas are appropriate school attire. Now I'm worried that, maybe, he isn’t too old to know better than to drink the bleach from under the sink.
-I went into my closet to get dressed this morning and realized that I hate every item of clothing that I own with the exception of my red Wonder Woman boots and, where the hell am I going to wear those?
-I just re-read this list and wondered why I am being such a big crybaby.
Huh. Must be that time of the month.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This weekend was a weekend of accomplishment in my household and, not just because Hugh managed to finally take down the Christmas lights or because I cleaned our windows for the first time in three years which are huge accomplishments but; there was also wrestling.
Brandon’s Bout, the first annual tournament to raise money for the Brandon Gomez Memorial Scholarship, was a huge success despite the minor annoyance of a number of people who registered their kids to wrestle and then didn’t show up, forcing the organizers to redo brackets at the last minute and causing a delay in start time for the tourney. Still, when one considers that over 200 wrestlers competed and the tournament still finished in just under three hours, one can't complain too much.
Not complaining at all was The Teenager, who spent the day helping Brandon’s mom and sister in whatever capacity they needed her; she tagged referees at the end of each period, posted brackets, awarded medals, fetched and delivered and, generally just had a great time being indispensible and following Brandon's sister like a shadow.
The Man-Cub’s bracket was one most affected by the no-shows and, unfortunately, the Cub ended up wrestling two of his own teammates which is never fun. He also had a bye in the first round so, when all was said and done, he won by forfeit, lost to one of his best friends by one point and beat another good friend by more than one point for a third place finish which, as far as he was concerned, was just fiiine.
Once he was finished wrestling, the Cub leap-frogged around the other nine mats, coaching teammates when Hugh was unable to be two (and sometimes three) places at once. Because the tournament ran all ages consecutively, and because we had thirty-three wrestlers attending, Hugh could hardly be blamed for not being mat-side at each wrestler’s bout. He did the best he could and no one seemed to complain which didn't really surprise me.
After all, it was a day for compassion; Brandon’s spirit was alive and well and his mother was completely aglow with the satisfaction that running that tournament brought to her. It would have been Brandon’s thirteenth birthday and, her gift in his memory was a trophy to the wrestler showing the best sportsmanship. Prior to the tournament, she asked the referees, coaches and table help to nominate wrestlers they thought deserved the award and, to vote on the outcome.
I would not have wanted to be in their shoes because, every kid in that gymnasium showed outstanding sportsmanship that day. I saw no ugly displays of anger or disappointment following losses, nor any parental displays of ugliness (which hallelujah! Let’s give out a trophy at every tournament!) instead; I witnessed pats on the backs and hugs between opponents as well as whispered encouragements and sincere condolences. It was awesome.
All of which makes me even more proud of this:
I’m…just….I actually don’t have the words to describe how proud I am. There should be a word for this feeling but no dictionary in the free world could possibly do justice in defining it.
Not one simple word.
This, I realize, actually makes me less gushy than I claimed previously and; maybe more than a little bit dumbstruck.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Seriously, does that snowman not look demonic to you? Hello!? He is poised to hit you with a snowball should you attempt to enter his territory and his eyes all but shout eeeviiilll.
The Man-Cub created the snowman and his little snow fort out of the last remaining snow from Tuesday’s storm and, as I type this, he is melting away into an angry puddle in the front yard. I mean, I’m guessing he’s angry; he didn’t look too happy to start off with and, you know he is dying, or the equivalent of it in snowman terms and he never got his shot at world domination which, by the malevolent look upon his face, was his sole purpose for existing in the first place. Seriously, had the Cub given him a mustache to twirl, he would be a perfect villain.
And, look; I just spent two whole paragraphs talking about an evil snowman. My life, it is so full.
In news not related to evil snowmen; we are gearing up for yet another Pee-Wee wrestling tournament tomorrow. This particular tournament is near and dear to our hearts because it is a fundraiser for Brandon’s memorial scholarship.
This is the first tournament of its kind and I fully expect to run into some major snags as far as the organization of it goes but, it will be worth the headaches, I’m sure.
Brandon’s mom asked The Teenager to award the medals to the winners of each bracket and she is taking the responsibility quite seriously; she already has her outfit laid out for tomorrow and has been practicing placing a medal over her brother’s head. I’m hoping it doesn’t raise the Cub’s expectations in as far as him winning his own medal at the tournament but, as last weekend goes to show; one never knows.
Still on the topic of sports (tis the season people, it’s going to ALL SPORTS! ALL THE TIME! please bear with me), baseball registration is coming to an end and team evaluations are scheduled for next Friday.
The President of the league has asked Hugh and me to consider letting the Cub play up to the 11-12 year -old Major’s team and, I’ll say right now; I don’t think it’s a good idea. Oh, it’s flattering as all hell because my son? Yeah, he’s a stud but; I would rather he stay with the 9-10 Minor team because that is where his friends are and because I think he deserves to have a successful year there rather than a year in which he might sit the bench more than he plays, which could totally happen if he joins the older kids.
Hugh tends to agree with me but we have agonized over the issue as well as over letting the Cub have a say in the decision. Honestly, my gut is telling me to keep him where he is and, while Hugh will be assistant coaching whichever team the Cub ends up on; I personally lurve our 9 and 10 year olds and their mothers-who never judge my laziness in refusing to run the concession stand –and I couldn’t function through an entire freaking season without them so; I guess that answers that question aaannd done (this blog, I swear; cheaper than therapy!!)
Of course, the topic of the concession stand is an on-going debate and I most likely will find myself running the damn thing with some frequency in which case…
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Last night the Teenager and I attended the Man-Cub’s 4th Grade PE Showcase. The showcase has been held annually since 1972 and is designed to provide an avenue for the kids to display the skills they have learned in the phys. Ed. Program and to have fun while doing so. Every 4th grader in the district is required to participate so the largest gymnasium in the district is used to accommodate the multitude of parents, siblings, grandparents and friends who come to see the show. Even still, the space is historically over-crowded and stifling.
This year, however, the district wisely chose to split the six fourth grade classes in half, holding the Showcase on two separate nights; this decision was applauded by everyone as it did help to reduce the congestion in the gym and I can actually say that I got a good seat, parking was not the nightmare that I remember from when the Teenager participated in her Showcase and, I was able to get a half-way decent video of the Man-Cub flirting his way through the opening number which, in a nod to the show’s theme Back in Time, was the legendary dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
It was awesome although, how the child managed to stay on beat even a little bit while engaging the little cutie in front of him in a rather involved conversation is beyond me.
Also beyond me? Where he learned the ghetto moves clearly displayed in the video because, not one other kid on the gym floor was quite so, um…American Bandstand about the whole thing so I’m guessing he didn’t learn those particular moves from his PE teacher although; I will see her later this month at Bunco and you can bet I’ll be sure to ask.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Last night’s snowstorm left us with a good five inches of heavy, wet snow. The trees outside my window are so laden down; the branches look as though they could snap at any minute. The roads are an icy mess and, if the temperature soars back into the 60’s this weekend, as predicted; mud season is just around the corner.
Yep. It’s officially springtime in the Rockies.
Spring generally sees me attending and participating in my women’s club’s annual luncheon however, this year, wrestling duties preclude me from doing so. I’m a little disappointed but, at least I won’t get roped into trolling the runway in a wedding dress pretending to be the oldest spinster ever.
Actually, I think Hugh is more disappointed about missing the luncheon than I am; he thrives on the
Speaking of nursing homes; the combination of a good workout, the damp weather and my own general decrepitness has left me sore and aching in my joints. I feel like I imagine an 80 year old woman might feel on a bad day. This, it should be noted, does not bode well for my future.
On the other hand, I am 14 days into the No Diet Pepsi, No Chocolate commitment and, truthfully, I am doing fine. Maybe there is hope for me, yet.
Monday, March 09, 2009
The Teenager abandoned me on Friday to spend the weekend at birthday slumber parties so; I spent the vast majority of my weekend basking in the warm glow of the above-mentioned testosterone. And, it’s a good thing I like people of the male persuasion because, they were everywhere.
We hosted over 250 wrestlers at our home tournament on Saturday. Of those 250, Hugh and I were responsible for just shy of 50 kids-forty-eight boys and one girl. And, while I love our soul female wrestler to death- I think she is brave and gutsy and just plain awesome- the estrogen produced by one female is hardly enough to counter-act the effects of a gymnasium full of boys. The mothers of the boys (and girl!) on our team helped to bridge the disconnect somewhat but; by the end of the tournament, I knew more dirty (for elementary-school-aged kids) jokes, had heard more disgusting stories about various bodily fluids and, had been called upon to assign more scores (1 to 10) in belching contests than I care to remember.
And I loved every minute of it, truth be told.
Aside from the belching, joking, refereeing of slap-fights, chasing down of children in an effort to retrieve articles of clothing during rabid games of Keep Away and visiting with the awesome moms of our wrestlers (did I ever mention that the Hostiles left our team for a competing team? No? My bad); I also handed out our new uniforms which, turned out rather cool, if I do say so, myself and I found time to watch the Man-Cub take the gold medal for his weight bracket.
I know! Here we thought he would have a
And, on that topic, testosterone? Yeah, it leaves a ring around the tub that is nearly impervious to all forms of household cleansers.
At least, I hope it was the testosterone.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Ok, so this Lent thing has been going much better than expected and, with the exception of a few random side-effects (um, running, anyone?), I am doing quite well.
I’m quite pleased to report that; I haven’t experienced uncontrollable cravings for either chocolate or Diet Pepsi. Granted, that will change here in about a week or so, when Mother Nature descends upon me with Eve’s Curse but, for now; I am enjoying the illusion of awesome self-control.
The rest of my life is going along swimmingly, as well; the wrestling program has settled into a comfortable routine-we have our home tournament this weekend-and, I am currently in between duties for the baseball program (for another week, anyway).
The kids are doing well in school and, although the weather has turned quite lovely and Springish, there has yet to be any indication that Spring Fever will derail them anytime, soon.
Hugh is plugging along on his P90x fitness program and wants you all to know that he has lost at least one extra chin. I never noticed that he had spare chins so; I’m taking his word for it and merely passing along the message.
In a bit of exciting (to me) news, I just signed my first writer’s agreement; starting very soon I will be a contributing writer on Rocky Mountain Moms Blogs. I’m really excited about the project and, while I’m also a bit nervous, I’m also really looking forward to the challenge. Plus, I get to say that I am “working” with people like Jen and that, right there, is reason to celebrate.
All in all, the past week has been pretty great and I’m really starting to think that the next five weeks are going to be, as well. On the other hand, if you all find me crying into my Wheaties this time next week, please feel free to blame Eve and her stupid apple.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The following video from last night’s Cub Scout pack meeting highlights the precise reasons that I love our Cub Scout Den Leaders. They have the patience of saints, the wisdom of the ages and, I’m, guessing, a healthy stock of Valium in their medicine cabinet.
The second video accurately depicts why I could never, in a meelion years, take on that Scout pack.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
-hurt yourself somewhere else and bleacher butt becomes a non-issue.
Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous here in Petticoat Junction. The temperature hovered around 65 degrees, the sun was out, the winds were calm, in short; it was a perfect day to be outside and, I took full advantage of it by walking to and from the post office and bank.
After work, I suffered my usual torture session at the hands of Jillian Michaels and then, laced up my running shoes and left the house for a nice long stroll.
I don’t know if it was because the day was so nice or because I am jonesing for spring and summer and everything that goes with them, like bikinis and boating but; at some point in my stroll, I suddenly took it into my head to…run.
Yes, run and, no, nothing was chasing me.
Now, I know a lot of people who run for both exercise and sport but, I don’t. I just don’t so, all I can say is that something possessed me and, there I was, running around our local park.
Part of not running is the fact that I look like an idiot doing it; think Phoebe from Friends combined with the grace of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld and you get a pretty clear picture of my “style”; still, there I was.
And, I would love to say that it felt great and I experienced an epiphany about why my friends subject themselves to the torture of daily runs but, yeah, not so much. Oh, it wasn’t that bad, at the time but, today; I am sore in places I forgot existed on my body. I’m stiffer than the Tin Woodsman after a month in the forest following a rainstorm and, I’m pretty sure Dorothy isn’t going to come skipping along to offer me a shot of oil for my joints.
I’m in a little pain, is the point I’m trying to make here but, as I said before; bleacher butt is no longer an issue.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Seriously, my butt is still sore from sitting on hard gymnasium bleachers all day Saturday. My back isn’t feeling entirely swell, either. On the other hand, I managed to get through the entire day without crying over the fact that I couldn’t drink a Diet Pepsi so, apparently; a pain in the ass counteracts addiction cravings, who knew?
Aside from the pain caused by the seating situation, the tournament went really well. We had fifteen wrestlers, aged 4 to 9 in the morning session and sixteen wrestlers in the afternoon session for older kids. Of those, we had at least 20 finish in the top three of their brackets and, with some much-appreciated help from the High School wrestling team; we managed to have a coach at every mat.
The Man-Cub wrestled his heart out but, did not manage to medal. We weren’t surprised; when we got to the tournament we discovered that the Cub, being somewhat light for his age, doesn’t really have any competition in his weight bracket. And, since he is older than the other wrestlers whose weight he most closely compares to; he was bracketed with kids his own age who out-weigh him anywhere from five to thirteen pounds. It’s the nature of the game; small wrestling programs don’t have the luxury of having a large number of kids with whom to compete.
So, the Cub’s choices were a) don’t wrestle or b) wrestle up. He chose to wrestle up and, in his first bout, he got pinned in the second period by a friend of his from a neighboring town who out-weighs him by seven pounds. In his second bout, he lost by one point to a kid we hadn’t encountered in previous years and who outweighed him by nine pounds. The Cub gave it his all and didn’t take the losses too hard, for which we were both proud and grateful.
And, since he will see basically the same kids at each tournament that we attend; he is preparing himself for the fact that he will always wrestle up this season and may not be as successful as he has been in years past. It could be a sad season for my boy, is what I’m thinking. On the other hand, that which does not kill us, yada, yada, yada.
And because he is far more resilient than most kids his age, the Cub was quick to remind us that, while he might not have taken the wrestling mat by storm this weekend, he rocked the gym with his mad headstand skilz. And, seriously, if there were a competition for most awesome headstand, he totally would have medaled.